A "working visit" to Algeria by the Moroccan Minister of the Interior is planned "shortly."
The National Secretariat of the Polisario Front held a special session to review the results of the identification as well as the most recent Security Council debates. The Secretariat expressed its satisfaction with the results of the identification and its recognition of MINURSO's staff, reaffirmed its commitment to the settlement plan and the Houston Accords, considered the inalienable and imprescriptible rights of the Sahrawi people.
The Algerian Prime Minister renewed "Algeria's ongoing desire to support the realization of Sahrawi goals (.) in their legitimate struggle for freedom, progress and prosperity," writes Ben Bitour in response to a letter of congratulations written to him by the Sahrawi President during his nomination (SPS).
Abdelaziz Bouteflika received Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the SADR.
Also present at this meeting were Mr. Bensalah, Chairman of the National People's Assembly, Ali Benflis, chief of staff of the Presidency of the Republic, Yazid Zerhouni, Minister of the Interior and local authorities and Youcef Yousfi, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Present on the Sahrawi side were Mohamed Ould Salek, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emhamed Khaddad, Coordinator with MINURSO, Malainine Saddik, SADR ambassador to Algeria and Bachir Sghaier, of the Sahrawi Presidency.
Discussions were held on bilateral relations, the latest developments in the peace process, the situation in Africa and worldwide and OAU-European relations.
In a statement before the House of Representatives, Moroccan Prime Minister Youssoufi restated Morocco's commitment in favour of the UN Settlement Plan, stressing its "opposition to the exclusion and the prevention of any citizen, who originated from the southern provinces, from exercising his or her legitimate right to take part in the confirmation referendum that will affirm the Moroccan nature of the Sahara." He took the opportunity to repeat his call for the misguided children of "our Sahara" [to return] "to their homeland." The Prime Minister announced that he would visit occupied Western Sahara in the next few weeks to inquire into the situation of the citizens there.
Serfaty to Bouteflika
"(...) It is possible to think that unity and fraternity will prevail in the end (.). I am particularly pleased that, during your electoral campaign, you adopted the theme, with regard to the conflict [in the Western Sahara], of "no winners, no losers," a notion I have been advancing for several years. His Majesty King Mohamed VI has over the last few months, particularly during his November 6th speech, taken some important steps in this direction. Hopefully our brothers in POLISARIO can also return to this path, which they seem to have abandoned during their last Congress. For only this path can lead to a fraternal resolution to this conflict, just as the integration of the Western Sahara into the Moroccan sphere of influence under the aegis of King Mohamed VI through a negotiated solution within the framework and under the aegis of international law could help to preserve historical and geopolitical equilibrium without which a future united and fraternal Maghreb cannot be built." (Libération, Moroccan daily)
In a letter addressed to Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UJS, Union of Sahrawi Jurists, chronicles the "drama" lived by the Sahrawi people for the past several years and the human rights violations in the occupied territories as well as the deep disappointment of the Sahrawis' who "from the start, were concerned by the first delay, frustrated by ensuing delays and are today in complete despair." Pointing to the recent events in East Timor, the UJS called on Ms. Robinson to intervene "in order to prevent a similar situation."
The SADR renounces to its participation to the OAU-EU summit to take place in Cairo in April next. This decision was transmitted by the Saharawi president to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, president in charge of the OAU by a letter publishe by the Algerian press agency APS. This voluntary withdrawal will allow the holding of the Euro-African summit as required by European countries, namely with the participation of Morocco.
[External links to newspapers may not be valid after some days because the servers are restarted]
[Summary Weekly News,] [Western Sahara Homepage]